Dental Care

Dental Braces

Wearing dental braces takes a big commitment of time and plenty of devotion. 

You know that eventually you'll have a healthier, more beautiful smile, even if it seems like a lot of trouble right now. 

But if you're going to wear them, then you should commit to doing it one hundred percent.  This section will teach you how to take proper care of your braces, plus more.

A dental brace is an orthodontic appliance -commonly referred to as braces- that will put your teeth into proper position by applying pressure in specific directions to correct misalignments.


If you have dental braces, it's very important to take your instructions very seriously.  Lackadaisical care will put the health of your teeth and gums into jeopardy.  Following instructions also prevents damage to your braces, and it will ensure the hoped-for results.

These are the general guidelines that apply to anyone who's wearing dental braces:

  • When you play physical sports, you should always wear a mouth guard.

  • You must always avoid specific sticky or hard foods. They include popcorn, nuts, raw carrots, large hard pretzels, gum, and caramel.

  • It's also important to limit your starch and sugar intake. They are converted into damaging acids known to speed up the formation of plaque.

  • It goes without saying (but we'll say it anyway): You must brush and floss carefully every day. This will prevent tooth decay as well as decalcification or color changes to the teeth. And food can become lodged in the braces.

  • When you suffer from lesions or cancer sores in the mouth, consider using dental wax for braces. It surely can make a difference.

  • You should have a deep dental cleaning procedure every six months; this is highly recommended by most orthodontists.

Your Benefits

dental braces

Besides a big, beautiful smile, what other benefits will you derive from your braces and your orthodontic treatment? 

Orthodontics is the dental specialty that involves the prevention and correction of irregularities of the teeth.  It also covers problems with jaws and with "bite," also known as occlusion.  If you have malocclusion-a bad bite alignment-it will improve with orthodontic treatment. 

People don't always seek orthodontic help simply for cosmetic or aesthetic purposes.  Often-for example, in the case of an overbite-an orthodontist can help to prevent teeth being accidentally knocked out in physical sports. 

Sometimes orthodontic braces are used in conjunction with other appliances in order the correct the position of the jaw or disorders of the jaw joint.  Your orthodontist might use functional appliances, headgear, and face masks. 

The purpose of these tools is to help with alignment of the teeth as they relate to the surrounding soft tissues, with or without adjustment of the underlying bones.  Jaw problems fall under the broad umbrella of temporomandibular disorders.  Sometimes there is an alignment problem caused by a disk of cartilage at the joint or other abnormalities in the alignment of the bones that make up the jaw. 

In some cases these underlying bones are moved into place through growth modification, using these special appliances, especially in children.  In adults, sometimes jaw surgery is necessary.  If you are not satisfied with the alignment of your teeth, an orthodontic evaluation is necessary to help you determine if braces can help. 

For a slightly higher cost, you can opt for braces behind teeth. This is a similar technique, with its proper advantages in comparison to traditional braces.

The Procedure

The first appointment will evaluate your main concerns as well as an overall look at the alignment of your teeth.  The orthodontist will consider the cosmetic appearance of your smile as well as the symmetry of your face.  He will evaluate the way your bite comes together and how evenly your jaws are aligned.  He will look at the way your teeth work as they chew.  And he takes into consideration the overall health of your teeth and gums. 

This initial visit is a time of establishing records:  The orthodontist will take measurements of your jaws and teeth.  This involves several types of x-rays and mouth molds, impressions, and even photographs.  Overall, the orthodontist will put all pieces of the puzzle into place so that he can come up with a treatment plan detailed specifically to provide you with the best possible smile and occlusion.  

Patients who have developed periodontal disease must have it treated before getting braces, and of course this begins with a deep dental cleaning.  The gums must be able to withstand the stress they will be subjected to with braces. 

Some people with extensive periodontal disease can actually sustain bone loss, and in those situations braces are not always recommended.  The braces work by applying force to the teeth, and if teeth are vulnerable from bone loss then braces are not a good idea. 

Good oral hygiene is therefore a must before, during and after dental intervention. Especially for this purpose you can purchase a dental braces kit, which is intended to keep your teeth and braces clean at all times.


We've talked about how orthodontic treatment begins.  When will it end?  The entire course of braces can take from six months to several years.  The average length of time for wearing braces is just a little over two years.

We will be discussing dental braces care as well as other aspects of braces -the process of etchant, placing the brackets with cement, arch wires, orthodontic spacers, and the closing of open bites- in a separate teeth braces article. 

We have a special article about types of dental braces to give you a comprehensive overview on what the actual possibilities are, like the invisible dental braces from Invisalign.


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